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Waking up STARVING!! HELP!!!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Please help me! Here's the story...

This month I was assigned to work night shift. I work three 12 hour shifts a week, and when I'm on nights I try to work those three in a row and get them out of the way. Of course, working nights 3 x week for a month and trying to switch back to daytime life the rest of the time is ridiculous on the body. That being said, it's the life I currently lead & I'm just thankful to have a job that I love doing. Starting in February I will work 6 weeks of days, 2 weeks of nights. I think that will be a lot easier on my body.

Sleeping lately has been a very tedious task. I can't seem to get my body to sleep at the proper times and it's all confused. The past few mornings I have woken up between 3:00-4:00am, fully alert & awake with no chance of going back to sleep, and to complicate things more for the past 2 days I have woken up at this time and been STARVING! Like, major hunger pangs firing through my body like an electrical current. I am a total believer in listening to my body & my body was obviously being deprived. When these pangs started, yesterday morning I looked at my nutrition tracker for the week and saw that I have been on the low end of my caloric range (could it be my body catching up?). So, yesterday I purposefully ate at the top of my range plus some, coming out to an approximate 2000 calories (the pizza & sugar cookies were from places that didn't have nutrition info, so I just had to do my best guessing, but if I'm to be honest I think I probably had closer to 2500 cals). I also drank lots and lots and lots of water. I thought this would resolve the issue, and last night I went to bed with a satisfied stomach (but not stuffed).
Well, this morning I woke up at 4:00am once again and my body was again miserably hungry (I went to bed @ 1:30am, so it had only been 3 hours since I was satisfied and sleepy). So, I held off for almost 2 hours by getting on SP (changing up my page, reading blogs, etc.) hoping I would get sleepy again, then I got up & made myself a cup of hot tea & ate a luna bar. I guess I'll be trying to eat at the top of my caloric range again today. I know my body wouldn't be acting this way if it didn't need the fuel (right?), but I'm afraid to start eating a lot more than normal because I also don't want to gain anything but muscle. I've upped the protein & fiber, been eating lots of fruits and veggies, drinking plenty of water, etc. but this morning it was all I could do to not down the entire can of honey roasted peanuts that is sitting on the counter & then raid the pantry for whatever else I could find.

Today the plan is to tell hubby to force me to stay awake ALL DAY until a decent bedtime hour (yesterday I accidentally fell asleep sitting on the couch @ 2:30pm & woke up when hubby came home from work @ 5:30pm. stupid night shift completely messes up my routine). I don't have to work again until Wednesday night, so I really need to be on a normal schedule for the next few days. I'm going to try to eat high protein, high fiber, and probably eat between 1600-1800 calories. I also plan to do my Zumba workout (I've been alternating days: zumba one day, ST the next).

So, what's the deal? Is my body really starving, or is it just thrown off because of night shift so it thinks it's supposed to be awake and hungry at the wrong times? Have you ever had this problem, waking up in the middle of the night feeling famished? What did you do? Did you eat something and if so what, and did it help? Do you know what the cause for the hunger and insomnia was?

Any insight on this matter is very needed & greatly appreciated! My nutrition & fitness trackers are pretty accurate. HELP! emoticon
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FIT_ARTIST 1/26/2011 11:24AM

    Sounds like maybe you're a little stressed? Maybe over worked? Melatonin works GREAT! It's natural and non addicting. And also try some protein before bed. Like cottage cheese.

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NATURALSOAPGIRL 1/22/2011 3:45PM

    Okay. I can't remember where I read this but it's been true for me. If you eat before bed it keeps your metabolism believing it's still daytime and so your body wants food. So, the only thing I can say is that you should eat your last meal or snack earlier so your body can go into a full sleep mode. That seems like it doesn't make much sense but for me - if I have friends over and end up eating a snack at 11 or 12 - I am starving when I wake up at 7 or so. Sometimes my hunger will wake me up earlier. If I don't eat anything past 8 then I am not hungry at all the next morning. That's why you need to eat right away in the morning - to get that metabolism going again. Hope that can help in some small way!

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QUEENJEANINE11 1/22/2011 12:04PM

    On days when you are having trouble sleeping at night take melatonin before you do to bed.
Melatonin is a hormone secreted by the pineal gland in the brain. It helps regulate other hormones and maintains the body's circadian rhythm. The circadian rhythm is an internal 24-hour “clock” that plays a critical role in when we fall asleep and when we wake up. When it is dark, your body produces more melatonin; when it is light, the production of melatonin drops. Being exposed to bright lights in the evening or too little light during the day can disrupt the body' s normal melatonin cycles. For example, jet lag, shift work, and poor vision can disrupt melatonin cycles.

Also I find If I wake up starving a tbsp on peanut butter seems to do the trick. And its only 100 calories.

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BERRIMOUSE 1/22/2011 11:09AM

    Try making a fruit smoothie and add some whey protien, drink around 10 pm it should help you sleep longer. I drink mine around 9 pm and it helps. Good Luck. emoticon

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FLYFIGHTER 1/22/2011 9:45AM

    It's ok to eat at 4am. I do it often if hunger wakes me and keeps me awake. Just try to think of other light options (piece of fruit or toast, maybe?) than the can of peanuts...can of peanuts at 4am not good LoL! So, do not max out your cals, save some for that snack option. Also, whey/dairy/casein digest more slowly at night. My pre-bed snack is a Greek yogurt, eaten around 10p.

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